These baked sweet potato bites are topped with ricotta cheese, pecans, pomegranate, honey and fresh thyme. They’re the perfect blend of sweet and savory and are a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love!
How cute are these little sweet potato bites? They would make the perfect appetizer for a dinner party or holiday meal or would make a delicious side for a weeknight dinner.
Ricotta toast is super trendy right now (check out my recipe over on Instagram), but for this version I swapped the toast for sweet potato rounds. Perfect for adding in more vegetables, nutrients and flavor!
I’ve already shared these sweet potato toasts, but instead of a breakfast toast, I wanted to make them mini and create a fun appetizer or side option. I topped the sweet potato rounds with whipped ricotta (so good!), pecans, pomegranate, honey and fresh thyme. I love this flavor combination, but I am also sharing more variations below if you want to get creative.
Here’s What You Need
sweet potatoes – the base of these bites. Look for sweet potatoes that are long and narrow so you have bite sized pieces when cut into rounds.
pecans – you can use raw pecans, but I highly recommend toasting them for extra crunch and flavor. The pecans add texture, flavor and healthy fats to each bite. If you don’t have pecans or aren’t a fan feel free to swap them with another nut like walnuts or almonds. For a nut-free option, pepitas would be delicious!
pomegranate – add festive color to this appetizer with fresh pomegranate seeds! To save time, you can pick up a container of just pomegranate seeds (also called pomegranate arils) versus the whole pomegranate. A lot of grocery stores have some in the produce section. If you can’t find any, dried cranberries would be a good substitute. Just look for ones that are low-sugar or sweetened with just fruit juice.
honey – add a drizzle of honey to sweeten these bites and bring all of the flavors together. I prefer the flavor of honey for this recipe, but I’m sure it would still be delicious with a dash of maple syrup or agave if you need a vegan option.
fresh thyme – fresh herbs add so much flavor to recipes. I mixed thyme into the ricotta and added a sprinkle of thyme on top for an extra pop of flavor. If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried thyme will work. Just whip 1 teaspoon of dried thyme with the ricotta cheese and sprinkle some more on top.
avocado oil cooking spray – to coat the sweet potato rounds before cooking. Coconut oil cooking spray would work as well.
How to Make
Start by slicing the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch thick rounds. The thinner you slice the rounds, the crispier they will be! Spray each round with cooking spray and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 375ºF for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through.
While the sweet potato rounds are roasting you’ll also want to toast your pecans to get them extra crunchy and bring out their delicious flavor.
It’s not totally necessary to whip the ricotta, but I will say that it’s 100% worth the extra time it takes to whip! It’s super simple to make and the end result is light, fluffy and delicious. Add the ricotta and fresh thyme to a food processor and whip for about 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
After the sweet potatoes are done cooking, let them cool for a few minutes until you can handle them without burning yourself. Top each round with the whipped ricotta mixture, chopped pecans and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle honey and add extra fresh thyme and serve. How easy is that?!
Take the extra 2 minutes to whip the ricotta with fresh thyme! It's a game changer and results in light and fluffy ricotta that is so delicious!
There are so many different flavors that would be delicious on top of sweet potato rounds and whipped ricotta! Here are some ideas:
olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper – use high quality olive oil and balsamic for a decadent treat!
sliced avocado and crushed red pepper – add extra creaminess, healthy fats and a little spice with this variation.
tomato, basil, salt and pepper – when tomatoes are in season, this variation would be so tasty! A fun take on a caprese salad.
jam or preserves – keep it super simple and just add jam or preserves of choice!
berries, honey and mint – mmm this sounds like a refreshing version to make during summertime.
eggs and black pepper – scramble some eggs and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper for a fun breakfast option.
pear, honey and thyme – wait for pear season to make this sweet and savory bite.
How to Make Ahead
You can absolutely prep portions of this recipe ahead of time for quick assembly. Here’s what I would do:
Slice and roast the sweet potato rounds as directed. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. It’s super important to let the rounds cool completely or there will be condensation in the container which leads to soggy sweet potatoes!
You can also whip the ricotta ahead of time. Whip the ricotta and fresh thyme in the food processor and then store in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
To assemble, you can use the cold sweet potato rounds or pop them in a toaster oven for a few minutes to reheat. Add the toppings and enjoy!
How to Store Leftovers
If possible, I recommend storing the sweet potato rounds separately from the toppings but I know that is hard to plan for! If you have fully assembled leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. I don’t recommend reheating them with all of the fresh ingredients, but they’ll still be delicious cold!
These baked sweet potato bites are topped with ricotta cheese, pecans, pomegranate, honey and fresh thyme. They're the perfect blend of sweet and savory and are a quick and easy appetizer that everyone will love!
Cut sweet potatoes into ¼-inch thick rounds. Spray rounds with cooking spray, sprinkle on a little sea salt and bake at 375°F for 35 minutes, flipping once around the 15 minute mark.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add the pecans to a small baking sheet and place in the heated oven for about 5-10 minutes to toast. You can toast pecan halves and chop after or toast chopped pecans. If your pecans are already chopped it will take less time for them to toast. This step is optional, but recommended.
Meanwhile, add ricotta into a food processor with 1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme and salt. Process until blended.
Let sweet potatoes cool for a few minutes, until they aren’t too hot to handle. Top each one with a spread of whipped ricotta, chopped pecans and pomegranate. Sprinkle on fresh thyme, drizzle honey, add fresh ground pepper and serve.
Ricotta cheese: Use vegan ricotta if needed.
Pecans: If you don’t have pecans or aren’t a fan feel free to swap them with another nut like walnuts or almonds. For a nut-free option, pepitas would be delicious!
Pomegranate: Dried cranberries would be a good substitute. Just look for ones that are low-sugar or sweetened with just fruit juice.
Honey: I prefer the flavor of honey for this recipe, but I’m sure it would still be delicious with a drizzle of maple syrup or agave if you need a vegan option.
Fresh thyme: If you don’t have fresh thyme, dried thyme will work. Just whip 1 teaspoon of dried thyme with the ricotta cheese and sprinkle some more on top.